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A Man’s Guide to Dating on a Budget

download (1)One of the biggest complaints I hear from guys between 21 and 30 these days is that dating costs a lot of money. I would consider that statement to be a half truth. While I am no stranger to spending a lot to impress a lady, I would consider myself to be an expert on budget dating because of my extensive experience with it. I’ll outline my qualifications for you now. Between the age of 15 and 25, I had what most would consider poverty-level income. I would engage in penny pinching on an hourly basis. Calculations and considerations would go into things like how much I had to travel (gas money), how much I wanted to eat (food money), how much fun I wanted to have (nightlife), what sort of intoxicants I could afford (self explanatory), etc. While I won’t say that I was going out frequently during this period of economic difficulty, I will say that wasn’t the factor that prevented me from seeing girls.┬áSo to help all you impoverished men out there, I put together this guide to give you some ideas about what you can do with your significant other that will cost you very little money and will probably end up earning you points in the boyfriend rating department.

imagesTrips to the Supermarket

One of my favorite go-to activities was taking a trip to the supermarket. Now, the key here is a bit of preparation. Everyone needs to eat, but most of the world can’t always afford steak, right? Wrong! A quick perusal of the mailers will tip you off to sales on meat, various vegetables, and fruits. Hunting down those bargains can be an activity in and of itself which you can share with your S/O. If you’re too embarrassed to do that, feel free to take a look yourself and go shopping before you meet. A mere invite to a home cooked meal will make girls swoon for the most part. Think about it, how many Facebook status updates have you read about girls having an “amazing” dinner prepared by their boyfriends? What did those meals consist of? Not anything you’d find on the menu at Lawry’s or Mastro’s that’s for sure. A simple ribeye with a baked potato is often enough to elevate you to must-show-this-off-to-my-friends status in your girlfriend’s eyes. Don’t know how to cook? Your girl doesn’t either? Call for take out and put it on plates… We won’t tell.

romantic-driveRomantic Drives

Have 10 bucks for gas? Chances are that gives you a range of over 40 miles in your 4 banger. That’s a lot of miles. Pick a location and take your lady on a spontaneous cruise to the coast or a nice vista. Girls will love the spontaneity and even if you’re not a conversationalist, all you really need to do is hold hands or cuddle up with your lady friend and look out at a sunset or a nighttime skyline. For all you men driving stick shifts, feel free to have your lady put her hand on your shifter and shift together (get your minds out of the gutter you pervs). If you want bonus points, prepare a thermos of hot chocolate or tea. I would say stick to something non-caffeinated since chances are you will be going at night. Added bonus: night time means no traffic, no traffic means added gas efficiency. To set up the kill, bring mini marshmallows.


I know this isn’t first on your list of shit to do on any given day, but the walk is a verified staple of the game of romance. Try finding a nice route or conversely, if you feel up to it, just take a spontaneous walk without a destination in mind. Be prepared to spend most of this time holding hands and/or talking. If you don’t feel like talking for an extended period of time, remind your lady that romance needs not be verbal. This is also a great way to get a girl to open up in a non-threatening environment, just don’t lead her into any dark alleys that may trigger her defenses. Walks are also great after large meals as an excuse for some innocent, light physical contact.


Oh man, these are gold if used correctly. Girls call them picnics, guys called them sacked lunches/dinners, see how that sounds much less threatening? Great thing is, a sandwich is viewed as a perfectly acceptable entree in picnic settings which means it’s easy on your wallet. If you have an extra 20 spot to spare, do yourself a favor and go to your local wine merchant. Tell them what’s on the menu (i.e. roast beef sandwich), and ask them to give you a good wine pairing that’s within your budget. Most guys think wine is prohibitively expensive. Not so. While there are certain vintners and vintages that are pricey, there are plenty that provide just the right amount of flavor and the right amount of awesome to push you to the next level in your girl’s eyes. To avoid any catastrophes and set the mood correctly, remember the three cardinal rules: 1) nothing in a box, 2) always remove the price tag, and 3) you ALWAYS need cups/glasses (no swigging from the bottle gentlemen). Thankfully, plastic is also considered perfectly acceptable in a picnic setting. Great thing about a picnic, you can have one anywhere. Don’t feel like leaving, get your sacked food and put a blanket out on your living room floor. Insta-picnic indoors plus bonus points for being “sweet”. You’re welcome.

movie-nightMovie Night

Did you know, you can watch movies with a member of the opposite sex when your actual end goal isn’t just to get in their pants? I know, your mind is blown. In any case, most guys and girls have used the line, “Want to go to my house and watch a movie?” After all, how else can you get a girl into a private place to do the deed? Well, couples that are past the “let’s just sleep together” phase do this too. A little preparation does go a long way. Popcorn is cheap, wine isn’t a bad call (see rules above), and nothing says “keeper” like a guy that chooses a movie that his S/O would like. Now, some of you may be saying, “Hey, how the hell would I know what kind of movies girls would like.” Well, here’s some ways to make the determination: 1) ask your S/O, 2) read the synopsis and look for key words like love, drama, or anything to do with lovers dying, and 3) look at the cover picture, if there’s a guy and girl looking longingly at each other, you got yourself a winner.

Alex S. Pak
A young professional with a passion for rhetoric. He was born and raised in Southern California where he attended high school and college. Alex focused his studies on the humanities and is a keen observer of the human condition. In is spare time, enjoys reading, watching movies, and partying like a rock star.

One thought on “A Man’s Guide to Dating on a Budget

  1. Even we ain’t got money. I am still in love with you honey. low budget should hinder someone from enjoying the company of woman. thanks for the great post. This could help a lot of men out there who on a budget.

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